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Kennedy Center RAGTIME Announces 1 Week Extension

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts today announced a one week extension for its production of RAGTIME. The musical will now run in the Eisenhower Theater April 18 through May 17, 2009. Based on a 1975 novel by E.L. Doctorow, the production features book by Terrence McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and will be directed and choreographed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge. The musical is part of the Kennedy Center's Broadway: The Third Generation, a series celebrating the current generation of Broadway musical composers. The official press night will take place on Saturday, April 25, 2009 at 7:30 p.m.

RAGTIME will star Ron Bohmer as Father, Quentin Earl Darrington as Coalhouse Walker, Jr., Manoel Felciano as Tateh, Christiane Noll as Mother, Jennlee Shallow as Sarah, Bobby Steggert as Younger Brother, Christopher Cox as The Little Boy and Jamie Goodson as The Little Girl. The ensemble includes Mark Aldrich as Willie Conklin, Susan Derry as Kathleen, Gavin Esham as Stanford White, Aaron Galligan-Stierle as Henry Ford, David Garry as J.P. Morgan, Jonathan Hammond as Harry Houdini, Leigh Ann Larkin as Evelyn Nesbit, Dan Manning as Grandfather, Donna Migliaccio as Emma Goldman, Tracy Lynn Olivera as Brigit, Bryonha Parham as Sarah's Friend, Josh Walden as Harry K. Thaw, Eric Jordan Young as Booker T. Washington, as well as Sumayya Ali, Melvin Bell, III, Kevin Boseman, Corey Bradley, Shelby Braxton-Brooks, Elizabeth Loren Earley, LC Harden, Carrie A. Johnson, Gregory Maheu, Sarah Rosenthal, Sasha Sloan, Elisa Van Duyne, Nellesa Walthour, and Jim Weaver.

At the start of the 20th century, New York City was for many the land of opportunity. Through a poor Jewish immigrant selling wares on the street, a wealthy Victorian couple offering aid to a runaway, and a Harlem jazz pianist out for justice, that unique brand of American hope runs strong. Together, their stories celebrate the struggle between tradition and independence in pursuit of the American dream.

Containing such popular songs as "Make Them Hear You" and "Wheels of a Dream," the original Broadway production of RAGTIME opened to critical acclaim in January 1998. The musical ran for 834 performances in the Ford Center for the Performing Arts and received four Tony Awards®, including those for Best Original Musical Score, Best Book, and Best Orchestrations.

Terrence McNally wrote the book for RAGTIME, for which he was awarded a Tony Award® in 1998. He received three other Tonys® for Master Class (1996); Love! Valour! Compassion! (1995); and Kiss of the Spider Woman (1993). His other plays include Corpus Christi, A Perfect Ganesh, Lips Together, Teeth Apart (Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play), The Lisbon Traviata, and Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, among others. He has written a number of television scripts, including the Emmy Award® -winning Andre's Mother. Mr. McNally has received two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Rockefeller Grant, the Lucille Lortel Award, the Hull-Warriner Award, and a citation from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

RAGTIME is composed by Tony Award®-winning Stephen Flaherty. His other music for Broadway includes the scores for Once on This Island, Seussical, My Favorite Year, songs for Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life, and incidental music for Neil Simon's Proposals. He is also the composer of A Man of No Importance and Dessa Rose (both produced by Lincoln Center Theater), Lucky Stiff, and Loving Repeating: A Musical of Gertrude Stein. His film work includes Anastasia, for which Stephen received two Academy Award® nominations, two Golden Globe® nominations, and a gold record for its soundtrack. His numerous awards as a composer include the Tony®, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Los Angeles Critics Circle, Chicago's Joseph Jefferson and London's Olivier Award. He has been nominated for the Grammy® three times. His latest musical with Lynn Ahrens, The Glorious Ones, premiered in New York at Lincoln Center Theater in 2007.

Lynn Ahrens won the Tony Award®, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards and received two Grammy® nominations as lyricist of RAGTIME. In the same year, she received two Academy Award® nominations, two Golden Globe® nominations and a gold record for the animated feature film Anastasia. She wrote book and lyrics for Seussical, Once on This Island, The Glorious Ones, Dessa Rose, A Christmas Carol, and Lucky Stiff. She provided lyrics for My Favorite Year, A Man of No Importance, and Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life, as well as lyrics for the feature film Camp. 2009 marks her twenty-sixth year of collaboration with composer Stephen Flaherty.

RAGTIME will be directed and choreographed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge. Her directorial credits include the Off-Broadway and nationally touring productions of Seussical (Lucille Lortel Award Nominations for Outstanding Choreography & Revival); Hair; The Who's Tommy; and the world premiere production of Simeon's Gift (Bay Street Theatre). Off-Broadway credits include Cookin'; Radio Gals; Closer Than Ever; Romance In Hard Times; The Music Man at New York City Opera; and Broadway's High Society (Associate Choreographer). She has worked at such regional theaters as Arena Stage, Goodman Theatre, Riverside Theatre, Lyric Stage, Goodspeed Opera House, Huntington Theatre, Pittsburgh Public, La Jolla Playhouse, and Cape Playhouse. She directed the Kennedy Center presentation of Tell Me on a Sunday starring Alice Ripley in 2002.

RAGTIME will feature scenic design by Derek McLane, original costume design by Santo Loquasto, lighting design by Donald Holder, and sound design by Jonathan Deans and Garth Helm. James Moore will serve as music director and will conduct the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra.


The production of RAGTIME is part of the Kennedy Center's season-long initiative Broadway: The Third Generation, celebrating the current generation of Broadway musical composers. Past performances in the season include Broadway: Three Generations, containing abridged concert versions of Girl Crazy, Bye Bye Birdie, and Side Show; and a newly commissioned Theater for Young Audiences production of The Trumpet of the Swan: A Novel Symphony, based on the children's book by E.B. White which was adapted by Marsha Norman with music by Jason Robert Brown; and a free concert in the Opera House on January 31st to celebrate the 12th anniversary of the Millennium Stage co-hosted by Stephen Schwartz and Brian Stokes Mitchell and featuring Scott Frankel, Michael Korie, Jeanine Tesori, Stephen Flaherty, Lynn Ahrens, Liz Callaway, and Capathia Jenkins followed by a full week of performances by up-and-coming Broadway composers. Upcoming performances include a co-production of Michael John La Chiusa's Giant to appear at Arlington's Signature Theatre as part of the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays; and the nationally touring production of Spring Awakening.


Performances for Ragtime will run Tuesday through Sunday evenings in the Eisenhower Theater at 7:30 PM. Beginning April 25, matinee performances on Saturday and Sunday afternoons will run at 1:30 PM. Tickets from $25 to $90 are on sale now and are available for purchase at the Kennedy Center box office, on the Kennedy Center website, or by calling Instant Charge at (202) 467-4600. Patrons living outside the Washington metropolitan area may dial toll-free at (800) 444-1324.

Funding is provided by The Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation and Stephen and Christine Schwarzman. Additional support is provided by The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation. 

The Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater is equipped with Harman International Advanced Audio Systems. 

For more information, please visit the Kennedy Center website at kennedy-center.org.


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